No deal yet with CNN despite apology, says KTB boss
The multimillion advertising deal between the Kenyan government and America’s Cable News Network (CNN) still remains suspended, Mr Muriithi Ndegwa, the Director, Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) has said
This is despite the network’s Global Executive Vice-President and Managing Director Tony Maddox flying to Kenya from Atlanta last week to personally deliver an apology to President Uhuru Kenyatta after CNN referred to Kenya as a “hotbed of terror” prior to President Barack Obama’s July visit.
President Kenyatta expressed his disappointment about the misrepresentation aired on the international television channel during the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) and instead described Kenya as a “hotbed of vibrant culture, natural beauty and infinite possibility”.
The promotion deal, worth USD1 million, was to market Kenya as a tourist destination across the United States, Europe, Asia, and Africa.
“The announcement which has been made not just by the Cabinet Secretary for EAC Affairs, Commerce and Tourism, Phyllis Kandie but also by other arms of government is that the deal we made with CNN is still suspended,” said Mr Ndegwa.
INTERNATIONAL CAMEL DERBY
The KTB boss was speaking during the flagging off of the Maralal International Camel Derby in Samburu County.
Mr Ndegwa said that KTB is currently liaising with the parent ministry and other government agencies to establish alternative platforms of ensuring the country’s tourism economies continues to grow.
He said the move by Mr Maddox was a positive step towards working on an informed opinion.
Mr Maddox, who is also CNN’s global content manager and the overseer of its international editorial policy, said in his apology that it was not intentional for them to paint a bad picture of Kenya’s security status.
“It was not deliberate to attempt to portray Kenya negatively. It is regrettable and we should not have done it. There is a world at a war with extremists; we know what a hotbed of terror looks like and Kenya is not one,” said Mr Maddox.
President Kenyatta stated that CNN’s misrepresentation made a mockery of the efforts and sacrifices made by Kenyan troops and the value of hundreds of lives lost.
“Kenya is nothing like the countries that have real war. There was no reason to portray Kenya in that way,” said the President.
He also urged the media to stick to flexibility and confirm facts while reporting and also give positive critique.